New chapter for Whitley Bay as Spanish City Dome opens

Spanish City Dome in Whitley Bay
The iconic white dome of Whitley Bay’s Spanish City will once again welcome visitors following a major National Lottery funded restoration.

People are invited to a weekend of celebrations and sneak peeks on 21 and 22 July before the site opens for business on Monday 23 July.

Rise and fall

Built in 1910, Spanish City attracted tens of thousands of people in its heyday, who came to enjoy the ballroom, concert hall and funfair. It helped to make Whitley Bay a bustling quintessential seaside resort.

However, after a period of serious decline in the 1980s and 1990s, Spanish City closed its doors completely in 2000.

[quote= Ivor Crowther, Head of HLF North East] "Thanks to National Lottery players, time enjoyed at Spanish City no longer has to exist in memories.” [/quote]

For nearly two decades it has served as a reminder of a bygone era – still loved and beautiful but unused and in danger of being lost.

Revival

Thankfully, the local community and North Tyneside Council were determined it would not be lost. They began working on a plan to bring the building back to life.

Years of planning and hard work paid off when the regeneration project was awarded £3.47million from the National Lottery and over £2m from the Coastal Communities Fund. The council invested £4m in the scheme.

Work started in earnest in 2016.

Historic features were saved and the building returned to its original design, the ceiling of the central space was removed to allow people to look upwards and see the dome in all its glory for the first time in a century and the building is clean and gleaming once again.

The project returned the building to commercial use, ensuring a sustainable future of Whitley Bay’s heritage. It is home to family-friendly restaurants, tearooms and space for weddings and conferences.

Future

The revived Spanish City Dome is key to North Tyneside’s coastal regeneration plans, set to boost the area’s economy and tourism. It is set to be a major North East attraction with thousands of visitors every year.

Ivor Crowther, Head of HLF North East, said: “This iconic building holds an incredibly special place in the hearts of all of us who live in the North East and beyond. So it’s fantastic to see its revival and its return to its place at the heart of Whitley Bay’s life and economy. Thanks to National Lottery players, time enjoyed at Spanish City no longer has to exist in memories.”

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